Friday, July 20, 2012

Wanna See Some Scary Shit?

The wife and I have been playing The Secret World, an MMO with a conspiracy basis and a decidedly Lovecraftian bent to it.

I'm not a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft.  I find his writing to be superfluous with adjectives and remote in too many ways from the mindset of the modern world.  I could say the same thing about Homer, but I have just finished the Odyssey (which I should have read back in my English Lit classes and did not, but I was familiar with the story then as well) and despite the tale being 2800 years old feels far more relevant and in touch with the modern reader.
I suppose what I don't like about Lovecraft the most is not his work but his fans.  I say this full in the knowledge that some of those fans are friends of mine; close friends, in fact.  Lovecraft created a mythos where unknowable and uncaring alien beings, some from beyond our very dimension, some that are pan-dimensional, are gods and where man is ultimately doomed should he ever seek to expand his consciousness beyond the simple banal drudgery of day to day life.  It is a faithless, hopeless universe and there can be no true heroism in it.  Yet for some reason fans of Lovecraft's work seem to ignore this singular point and focus on how bitchin' Cthulhu is.  Yes, the revel in one of the things that old Howard dredged up from his nightmares and many neuroses.  Inevitably this takes the form of games (video, board, role playing, etc.) that seem to fail to grasp the essential horror of the works from which they are drawn.

But who cares?  I am supposed to show you some scary shit, right?

So this game I am playing is basically secret societies full of people who have been given magic powers because they swallowed a glowing bee and now struggle against one another and the world to further the agendas of their august masters.  I wish I had just made that up.  The first zone is an island off the coast of Maine with a surfeit of horror movie tropes running wild...for you to kill.  Here is a picture, the promised scary shit, of an evil scarecrow that we fought last night.  The game is pretty and the monsters are well done.  I'm the one in the cowboy hat.
In this picture the evil scarecrow carrying the creepy baby doll is killing Blackbyrd (my wife) while I bravely stand still to take the picture.

Until the season rolls round, keep your pumpkins lit.

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